Getting My Start in Online Coaching

Becoming an Online Running Coach Has Changed My Life (And Maybe Yours Too!)

How did I get started with online coaching, where I’d like to go next, and how TrainwithMarc can help your running.

At the end of 2010, I was asked if I could write a training plan for an upcoming race that Patty had wanted to run.  I had been coaching for 3+ years at that point – all as a high school assistant coach – and I was a budding (read: haphazardly and awkwardly writing online) blogger.  As much as I was looking to make ends meet, I also have a burning passion for distance running.

A guide to why you should hire a running coach for your next race
The perks of having and using an online running coach

I was going back to school (after Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees) to become a teacher.  I needed the work and I needed the practice working with different types of runners if I wanted to reach my end goal: becoming a college coach.

Within a few weeks of starting with Patty, the newly formed TrainwithMarc had 3 runners in the fold.  We were off to the races!

Since starting, I’ve worked with runners (and non-runners) who want to run fast one-mile races all the way up to friends who wanted to run ultra races (over 26.2 miles).

So here’s a little bit about who Marc is and what TrainwithMarc is intended to do!

My Day Job:

I’m a Middle School Special Education teacher at Cinnaminson Middle School. I teach 6th grade Math and 7th grade Language Arts. I’m also the distance running coach for both cross country and track.  I’ve been at CMS for almost 4 years and have been teaching for almost 6 years now.

13 hacks for teachers who run
13 hacks for teachers who run

How I Found My Niche:

I write training plans for distance runners and it’s all online.  I use a customized Google Sheet that I outfitted to be the best training log for runners.  It gives me the satisfaction of putting my coaching talents to use, helps bring in some extra money, and I get to work remotely so I still have time for my family.

Online Coaching:

Outside of school, I’m an online running coach who helps distance runners around the globe.  I give support, write customized training plans and design workouts to help each runner reach their racing goals.  (Read: motivator, trainer, supporter, and guide to all things running).

A coach will create the plan - you just follow it
TrainwithMarc will help you plan your racing season

This works perfectly for me because I motivate, train, and teach runners about proper running and strength routines but also have the flexibility to work my full-time job as a teacher.  It’s also great because I get to spend time with my family. Because this is mostly online (I also do in-person training), I can work on creating training plans on nights and weekends or when my daughter is sleeping.

In-Person Coaching:

On top of the online coaching, I also do some in-person training, running form assessments, and I have partnered with my coaching staff to start a track camp for kids during the summer.  

In the past, I tried to start a local training group, but it didn’t take off, but that was a lot of fun trying to get that up and going.  

In-Person Coaching

Now, Carly and I created a gift package, called a Runner’s Bundle Box, intended for runners who are looking for gift ideas or need a box of goodies to get them going with a half or full marathon training plan.  It’ll have resistance bands, runner-specific food items, and other fun additions.

The Best Part:

The best part of online coaching for me is that it fulfills a huge passion of mine.  I have been a runner/coach/athlete for over 20 years. And while sometimes one-on-one or team coaching can’t fit into my schedule because of other priorities, I get to still share my knowledge and motivate people on a daily basis doing what I and they both love to do.  The second best part is seeing runners progress from where they started before working with me to where they end up on race day.

The workouts are challenging, but doable. Working with you is definitely holding me accountable.

– Kara
Customized training plans for your next race
Custom training plan for your next race

Getting Better:

I know that I’m good at coaching and I’m decent at social media (posting and sharing).  Where my weaknesses lie is in creating new content on my blog. I find that my writing skills are getting better, but it is still time-consuming.  My goal in blogging is to get all the knowledge I have and package it into something that runners can use and make themselves a better runner.  

My History:  

I have lots of experience and a burning passion for what I do.  I’ve been running competitively since high school (1999) where I was a state champion in cross country and the 1600 and went on to run cross country and track at Villanova University.  I have years of practical experience that serves me well as I work with my runners.

Training plan designed for your individual needs
Coach creates a custom training plan based on your needs

Since becoming a coach in 2008, I’ve been accredited by USATF and Jack Daniels Running Coach through their certification programs.

I’ve also been blessed with amazing coaches/mentors throughout my running career.  I’ve worked under and side-by-side some phenomenal coaches that have helped guide my coaching.

Find Trainwithmarc on Instagram
Find Trainwithmarc on Instagram

What Might Come Next?:

My goal is to help more and more runners reach their maximum potential!  On top of working with more runners, I want to grow my summer track camp and start retreats/mini-camps for adults.

Why YOU Should Get a Coach:

The best reason you should hire a running coach is to simplify the training plan.  When a coach writes a plan for you, you’ll know exactly what to do on every given day.  There isn’t a better feeling in the world than looking at your training for the day and not having to guess what you should do.  The guesswork is gone. The planning is gone. All you need to do is execute what’s on the plan for the day.

After that, having an experienced and knowledgeable person to assist you with questions is very valuable and super important should any kind of issue arise during your training.  A good coach will be able to get you back on track or modify your training plan.

If you’re still unsure about whether you should invest in a coach, ask questions! I’m here for you and I can point you to any number of coaches who could help you – even if it’s not me!

Did you find this article helpful? Let me know by leaving a comment below or join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Welcome to the Running Coaches’ Corner

Searching for a running coach? TrainwithMarc has flexible schedules, dynamic plans, and access to a coach who’s worked with every type of runner.

TrainwithMarc will design a training plan based on your needs, running history, and your goals.

Gear I Love

Garmin is my go-to brand of running watches

My Favorite RUNNING gear from Amazon ⬇️
Feetures socks:
Tifosi Sunglasses:
Garmin 235:
Garmin heart rate monitor:

Coach Marc does strides after easy runs to prime his legs

Current Running Shoes ⬇️
Brooks Levitate:
Brooks Revel:
Nike Pegasus:

Marc uses a massage gun to loosen up his legs

Running Recovery Gear I use daily from Amazon ⬇️
Sonic X Percussion Massage Gun:
Foam Roller:
CEP Compression socks:

Marc running a popup 5k in Haddonfield

TrainwithMarc’s Social Media links ⬇️
Instagram: @TrainwithMarc_LLC
Twitter: @marcpelerin
Facebook: @TrainWithMarc
TikTok: @Run_Coach_Marc
Venmo: @marcpelerin

6 thoughts on “Getting My Start in Online Coaching

  1. deborahbrooks14 March 13, 2019 — 8:51 AM

    I was wondering what your day job was~ Sounds like on line coaching is a great fit for you


  2. Teacher by day, coach by night. It does fit nicely. Thanks!


  3. I love learning more about you! I knew that you were a teacher, but didn’t know you taught Special Ed. My mom was a special education teacher too, it was her life!

    It’s great that you’ve been able to take your passion and turn it into something that if fulfilling (and also brings in extra $$$!). I also used to coach cross country (at a local high school) and I miss it since they went to requiring that coaching staff be teachers at the school as well.


  4. Janelle @ Run With No Regrets March 14, 2019 — 1:23 PM

    I admire all of you running coaches! I really enjoy working with a coach and I do believe it has made me a better, stronger, and smarter runner! I wish one day I could be in that role to help others, but for now I’m going to leave it to the experts such as yourself!


  5. Why thank you! Have you worked with multiple coaches or just gone back to the one when you’re training for something big?


  6. Thanks – yep, this is my 6th year teaching. It is very fortunate that I get to do what I love and also get paid for it. That’s a total shame that you can’t coach because you’re not in the district.


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